Difference between revisions of "Dieppe"
Revision as of 12:44, 31 March 2008
Dieppe , France is in Normandy. Dieppe is the nearest beach to Paris, lively all year round. It is well-known for a failed landing operation by predominantly Canadian Allied forces during WW2, on the 19th of August 1942. You won't find a French flag flying in Dieppe without a Canadian flag alongside it. Dieppe, has a long and interesting history, having been an important port linking William the Conquerer's English kingdom with his Normandy Dukedom in the 11th century, and having endured centuries of conflict right up until 1944. Today, it's an important ferry and fishing port, and a pleasant seaside resort.
The Transmanche Ferry  from Newhaven, England carries cars and foot passengers across the English Channel in about 4 hours. Arrive by train from Rouen (40min) or Paris (2h). The town also has a small aerodrome, situated in Saint-Aubin (2 miles away).
Dieppe is a small town with a population of about 35,000 (54,000 for the metropolitan area called Dieppe Maritime). Most of the tourist destinations are within walking distance of hotels, but you can hire bicycles for a few Euros per day from opposite the tourist information office in the harbour area.
ESTRAN Cité de la Mer . Marine museum with displays that cover shipping, fishing, geography, and the history of Dieppe. Open 10-12am and 2-6:30pm daily. Entry €3.
Château-Musée de Dieppe . The Castle Museum. Fine art and carvings exhibited in the well preserved castle building. Open 10-12am and 2-6:00pm daily. Entry €5. There are three entrances, but the most interesting access is through the tower based in the Square du Canada.
The memorial to the 19 August 1942 Dieppe raid in the Italian-style Petit Theatre, Place Camille Saint-Saëns. Open Mid June - End September, 2-6pm daily except Tuesdays. Entry €2.
L'eglise Saint Jacques contains an unusual 16th century freize depicting tribal life in the Amazon, commissioned by the Dieppoise explorer Jean Ango. The church also houses a set of stained glass windows commemorating the 1639 departure of three Augustine Sisters to Quebec, where they founded the Hôtel-Dieu du Quebec—the first hospital in North America—and the Canadian raid on Dieppe 303 years later.
The historic town center, reconstructed after the bombardment of 1694 by M. De Ventabren, architect to Louis XIV.
La Maison Miffant, the oldest house of the city. It can be found rue d'Ecosse, just behind the Dieppe City of Art and History information center.
International Kite Festival , held every other (even numbered) year - in September.
The saturday morning market is a must-see. It is one of the largest and one of the most popular markets in Normandy. From 8am to 12:30pm you can find almost everything there.
For French grocery products, try chez Olivier, in the rue Saint-Jacques. A lot of good cheese, wine and coffee can be found there.
There are plenty of traditional French restaurants, especially seafood restaurants, around the quayside area. La Mélie, La Marmite Dieppoise, Le Grand Duquesne, Le Bistrot du Pollet and Les Voiles d'Or are all very good restaurants. They can all be found in the town center except for Les Voiles d'Or, situated just opposite the Bonsecours chapel.
You won't find a veggie restaurant in Dieppe—they're rare in France. In fact, vegetarians will have a hard time in most restaurants here. Two good options are the excellent Turkish Ankara restaurant (rue de la Rade, near the harbour entrance), and the Indian Bombay Restaurant (15 Areades de la Poissonerie).
The café des Tribunaux, situated in the heart of the city, is the oldest and the most popular café in town. It often gets crowded at weekends but has a very nice atmosphere to it. For a town of its size, Dieppe has quite a few bars and pubs, and most of them stay open late (2am weekdays/4am weekends). For good cocktails, try the Epsom and the Europe on the seafront, the Cactus and the Pirate on the Quai Henry IV or the Cambridge pub in the town center. For a very French ambiance, you can try La Potinière, l'Entracte or le Mieux Ici Qu'en Face, three rather cheap and very popular small cafés. Music venues inclued the Manhattan (rue Duquesne), the Madison (rue Saint-Rémy), the Movabé (île du Pollet) and the Abordage, in the Casino.
You'll find many reasonably priced hotels on the Avenue Verdun, overlooking the beach and the esplande. Cheaper hotels can be found around the Belvedere shopping center. They inclued Crocus, Formule 1, Marmotte and B&B.
Hire a bike, and head for the 40km traffic free Avenue Verte, which follows the old Paris-Dieppe railway. Follow the Rue du Géneral Chazny out of town, through Rouxmesil-Bouteilles to Arques la Bataille. Bear left then right to Saint Aubin le Cauf - you'll find the start of the Avenue Verte before you get to St Aubin. From Dieppe, an easy afternoon trip would take you to the Parc Naturel éducatif Guy Weber, just a few kilometers from the start of the Avenue Verte. It's a wetland reserve managed by APEI (L'Association de Parents d'Enfants Inadaptés de Dieppe), you'll find the ecology well documented, and a host of interesting artworks around the meadows. If you don't want to ride from Dieppe, you can hire bikes here and head on south along the Avenue Verte.